Rebounding from the heart breaking late-inning loss on Friday night, the Kansas City Royals even their record at 1-1.
Game 2 in the Royals’ 2012 program was a no-doubter. From the beginning, the Royals dominated the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim, if that’s what they’re still called… I think it is.
For the second straight game, the Royals got a stellar performance from the starting pitcher. This time, Luke Hochevar tossed 6.1 innings of 2-run ball, while striking out 4 and walking 2. The line is not quite as stellar as Bruce Chen’s from the previous night, however, Hochevar was better than the numbers show.
More good news, the Royals offense go going early with a 2-run single from Jeff Francoeur in the 1st inning off Dan Haren and later with solo home runs from Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas (also off Haren). Humberto Quintero had two doubles, Chris Getz added another, giving the Royals five extra base hits to go with seven singles and two walks.
Luckily, the offense held off a second straight bullpen collapse as Tim Collins allowed two inherited runners to score, Greg Holland threw a scoreless 8th inning and new Royals closer Jonathan Broxton allowed a double, a bunt single and a sac-fly RBI before inducing Vernon Wells into a game-ending ground ball double play.
I’m not going to lie, the 9th inning was extremely stressful for me. I wanted nothing more than to grab and choke the damn’ “Rally Monkey”! The final frame began to feel a lot like last night, especially after Torii Hunter reached base on a bunt single.
Another bright spot, Albert Pujols was held to only a single in the first two games by the Royals pitching staff.
It’s funny, every season, it seems the pre-season strength of the Royals seem to become the most uncertain. I know, it’s only been two games, but if anything, I worried about Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar in games one and two, not the bullpen.